Autobraking Set To Be A Standard By 2022

Cars these days are as much technology as they are mechanical, with everything from your indicator and dashboard to the radio and pedals attached to a computer which helps you organise and drive as much as your driving teacher did when you first started learning. A new agreement could see autobraking set as a standard as soon as 2022.

Back in 2012, the EU made some legislation which saw automatic electronic brakes (AEB) a required standard on new cars. A group of automakers look to speed up this process within the US by avoiding the legislation part of the issue and instead agree to do the project on their own.

Some of the 20 companies involved, including the likes of Honda, Ford, Volvo and Toyota, have made a pact with the US department of transportation’s national highway traffic safety administration alongside the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that looks to bring AEB’s to cars in America as soon as 2022.

The reason for avoiding the government rule aspect of the pact is that it is expected to be “three years faster than could be achieved through the formal regulatory process”. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that could help prevent as many as 28,000 crashes and over 12,000 injuries.

The full list of companies involved in the pact can be found below, and features some of the biggest names in car manufacturing:

  • Audi
  • BMW
  • FCA US LLC
  • Ford
  • General Motors
  • Honda
  • Hyundai
  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • Kia
  • Maserati
  • Mazda
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Mitsubishi Motors
  • Nissan
  • Porsche
  • Subaru
  • Tesla Motors Inc.
  • Toyota
  • Volkswagen
  • Volvo Car USA

If you drive something bigger than your average car (anything between 8,501 pounds and 10,000 pounds) companies have until 2025 to adapt AEB’s for your vehicle.

Mechanic “Invents” Water Fuelled Car

I don’t think this gentleman will be on the Christmas lists of Shell or BP anytime soon, anyway, a car mechanic from India has claimed to have designed a new and rather a cheap way of fuelling a car and it arrives apparently in the form of water.

The gentleman in question goes by the name of Mohammad Raees Markani who has been modifying an “800 cc engine” for the last five years. He believes to have found a new alternative form of eco-transportation by using a mix of water and carbides (a compound composed of carbon)

Below is a video of this apparent achievement, amazingly, a one-litre mix of this potion costs around 2p. Mr Markani explained that his car “runs on acetylene gas” which is formed from a chemical reaction between calcium carbide and water. He also stated that he needed to make various changes to the engine with the aim of helping the performance of the car.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIWpLTVIFSo

If true, it’s astonishing considering Mr Markani has never been to school and also cannot read or write, it has also been noted that he began to experiment with various techniques around 5 years ago and has since made an efficient engine that runs on water.

Various high-profile companies are said to be interested and Mr Markani is open to offers, if they meet his one condition, this is, any plant or factory that is established in order to manufacture vehicles that utilize this technique will need to be built in his hometown of Madhya Pradesh. Mr Markani explained that he wants “things to change in my hometown

It will be very noteworthy to follow the development of this project and if true, could be a turning point for both eco-friendly vehicles and also the environment, well, until we run out of the water that is.

Hack Targets Email System Of The Pentagon

NBC news is reporting information which has been supplied by US officials who have stated that Russia has launched a “sophisticated cyber attack” with the aim being the Pentagon’s Joint Staff unclassified email system.

The email system has since been shut down by being taken offline for almost two weeks. The attack happened “sometime” around July the 25th 2015, this has affected around 4,000 military and civilian personnel who work for the joint chief of staff. I love how specific highly trained government officials are behaving concerning this possible intrusion.

Sources have briefed NBC News that the hack relied on “some kind of automated system that rapidly gathered massive amounts of data and within a minute distributed all the information to thousands of accounts on the Internet”. There is suspicion that Russian hackers planned and implemented the cyber attack via encrypted accounts on social media.

The phrase, “oh here we go again” comes to mind with these types of cyber attacks, which conjure a feeling of Déjà vu or Groundhog Day depending on your movie of choice. If governments, companies and infrastructures intend to keep information stored within networks and connected devices, then it needs to be secure. It’s absurd that it keeps happening over and over again; it’s almost deciding which foot to shoot and ending up shooting both.

Officials have stressed at this time no classified information has been compromised, hopefully this will not change. There is also the unknown factor of whether this has been orchestrated by hackers on behalf of the Russian government. I expect more information to be placed in the public domain within the coming days, or it will be forgotten by a new hack from a far-flung country. Who knows, at this stage nothing is surprising.

Thank you NBC News for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of masteringfilm

Hulu Planning An Ad Free Subscription?

On paper, the media streaming service Hulu is a great idea, either watch selected shows for free or pay a $7.99 (£5.12) fee to view an expanded array of content. But the problem lies with United States based consumers who pay a subscription but are still subjected to commercials within the lowest tier package, which I think is a cheek considering if you pay a price, you should not have to view ads as well.

Recent reports have suggested that Hulu is planning to respond to this by offering consumers a new subscription package which wipes out adverts altogether. There is speculation that Hulu would be willing to market these new tiers at between $12 and $14 dollars (£7 – £9) approx.

This on paper sounds an improvement, but in order for the rumoured change to be successful, the media streaming service will need to re-think an additional subscription tier by the name of “Showtime”. Which for an additional $8.99 dollars (£5.76) a month on top of the current subscription, consumers can watch a larger library of content which is commercial free.

On top of this there is also another problem, technically, Hulu is only available in the US, Yes we all know where we are going here so I won’t say. So, if Hulu wishes to grow its business model, it will need to offer content to consumers in more countries legally. I do feel Hulu has been dwarfed by Netflix in terms of territories and also notoriety with the most logical outcome being one subscription price for all content.

Will these possible changes be a turn off for consumers? Well here’s the killer, Hulu is owned by many of the TV companies which include-21st Century Fox, Comcast, and the Walt Disney Company. These conglomerates have a vested interest in marketing the product with commercials in order to garner increased revenue. If more people migrate to ad free alternatives and are still able to watch the latest shows at the expense of the traditional TV, what incentive is there for Hulu to move completely away from adverts?

Now, as I write this, I am not condoning or supporting piracy in any way, the facts are this, unless Hulu changes and implements a service which is completely ad free. How will Hulu market the product at new subscribers when said consumers are able to watch the same content, which is available ad free to download illegally or to view on other legal services?

Companies need to drastically re-educate themselves on the effectiveness of adverts in the Internet generation; otherwise there will be a steep decline in revenue as streaming services becomes the prime destination for consumer viewing habits.

Thank you Gamespot for providing us with this information

Image Courtesy of gadget review

US Navy Pays For XP Support

Governments have long been accused of not planning for the future and thus wasting money on projects which really should have been modernized. Well, this is no exception as its been announced that the US Navy will be transferring approximately $9 million dollars to Microsoft. What for! You may ask, is it for the latest back door into the software’s giants system? No, the money is for a polite but expensive tech person to offer support for Microsoft XP which is installed on the US Navy’s systems.

In response the US Navy has stated that it plans to upgrade their systems, did god I hope it’s not Vista, by July 12 2016. This sounds promising until the small print also states that the US Navy has the option to extend the support for XP until at least June 2017 which will then raise the amount, paid into Microsoft to nearly $31 million dollars.

The next statements discussing tech are even scarier, not by what is said but from who says it and the position which they represent. These come from Steven Davis who is the spokesman for Space and Naval Warfare Systems, who announced that because certain programs which the Navy uses rely on a legacy windows product, until these programs are replaced, it’s XP all the way.

Microsoft are also making a killing by offering Support for Windows XP, according to Net Market Share, a huge 44% of corporations still have Windows XP installed on at least one PC Worldwide, this is nearly 15% of PCs which are still running XP. So the next time you wonder why your government cannot fund a certain project, just think of that dam Paperclip.

Thank You CNN Money and US Department Of Defence for providing us with this information

Image Courtesy of teknorio

Software Companies Leaving UK Because of Government’s Surveillance Plans

The company that runs the open-source blog platform called Ghost is moving out its premium service from within the UK’s bounds because of Governmental plans to weaken protection for privacy and freedom of expression.

The founder of Ghost, John O’Nolan released online that the company is changing the default location from the UK to DigitalOcean’s Amsterdam datacenter.

He wrote that he was particularly worried by the UK government’s plans to scrap the Human Rights Act, which he said enshrines key rights such as “respect for your private and family life” and “freedom of expression.” The Netherlands, by contrast, has “some of the strongest privacy laws in the world, with real precedents of hosting companies successfully rejecting government requests for data without full and legal paperwork”

A few weeks after hearing this news another company, this time Eris Industries decided they were going to react to the new UK plans. The company’s move was prompted by the threat that new laws could require backdoors in its encryption technology, of which the software heavily relies on.

The Ceo of Eris explained in a post:

“With immediate effect, we have temporarily moved our corporate headquarters to New York City, where open-source cryptography is firmly established as protected speech pursuant to the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.” with further news to state that the move will be become permanent if the Snooper’s Charter is enacted with rules that require back doors to be in crypto software.

Thank you to ArsTechnica for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Telegraph

Snapchat Exploring Advertising Avenues

Most of us have heard about it and many of us have strong opinions of it – there’s no denying that Snapchat has worked its way well into the lives of many of us and especially into our younger population.

For those unaware, Snapchat is an image sharing program where users can take a picture or a short video and send it to select friends – this media then deletes itself up to 10 seconds after it’s originally viewed or instantly after the video has finished. This is akin to its logo, a ghost.

Snapchat recently turned down a $3 billion offer from Facebook last year, but the question remains – how do they make money?

We’ve learned, thanks to the Wall Street Journal, that they’re mulling over a new service called “Snapchat Discovery” which will allow media companies and advertisers to push advertisements to Snapchat’s userbase. According to this report, Snapchat have been in contact with at least a dozen media companies and are looking to launch this update in November 2014.

Unfortunately, no statement from Snapchat could be acquired at this time.

There’s a few famous quotes I think relate to this situation. The first being “Hell, it’s about time” from Blizzard’s ever popular game Starcraft II and a common saying which is “money makes the world go round”. As much as we all love a free service, it was only a matter of time before Snapchat had to start earning something back.

As reported by ComScore, an industry researcher – Snapchat is the third-most popular social media app among people between the ages of 18 and 34, so it only makes sense that now is the time for them to strike.

Image courtesy of Business ETC

3D Printed Aircraft Parts, 3D Printed Toys And…. 3D Printed Food?

Reports are pointing out to a variety of 3D printed foods heading for us this year and for many years to come. It is said that companies are testing with 3D printed food, mixing recipes an shapes together and bringing an awesome design as well as a great taste on our plates!

The procedure could evolve in one of the biggest 3D market segments if proved successful this year. We have seen many 3D printing companies showing off their recent 3D printers filled with a multitude of functions back at CES 2014, and there were some food-based products as well. We know that there are different types of 3D-printed foods currently in various phases of development, and it will be an industry to watch in the future.

It is also said that chocolate maker Hershey’s also teamed up with a 3D company to produce 3D printed chocolate, which will be a major draw for the company’s gift shop. Cornell Creative Machines Lab has developed printers that can dough-based corn chips, while sugar candies also are available courtesy of 3D Systems’ Chefjet. Also, NASA contractor Systems & Materials Research is working on a pizza printer that provides taste, nutrition, and less waste in the space shuttle and at the International Space Station (ISS).

So we have something to choose from already, but how wacky-beautiful and delicious can it get? We’ll just have to wait and see what stores are going to be filled with in the future.

Thank you TweakTown for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of TweakTown